Fullerton

A College Town With Rock and Roll Roots

Sights In Fullerton:

Home of the Valencia Orange and The Solid Body Electric Guitar


Like most cities in Orange County, development arrived in Fullerton along with the railroad.

Brothers George and Edward Amerige heard a rumor that the California Central Railroad, a subsidiary of the Santa Fe,  was looking to buy land north of Anaheim. So in 1887, they bought 430 acres of former sheep grazing land to build a town.

George H. Fullerton was the railroad representative that agreed to run the tracks through the new town site and the grateful citizens named the town in his honor.

Charles Chapman touted the superiority of the Valencia orange on his 350-acre citrus ranch nearby. Soon Valencia became the standard variety of oranges grown in Orange County, bringing prosperity to the town of Fullerton.

Fullerton Orange CrateCharles Chapman

 

 

But it was a local radio repairman who brought Fullerton its most famous creation. During the 1940′s, Leo Fender fixed all kinds of things in his repair shop on Harbor Blvd, using his ideas and innovations to make improvements. Occasionally, musicians would come to his shop needing repair for their electric instruments. Fender listened to their concerns. He looked at guitars and amplifiers not as a musician, but as an engineer trying to create the most durable and effective tools for making and amplifying music. Fender’s amplifiers and electric guitars became world famous as the chosen instruments of Eric Clapton, Buddy Holly and Jimi Hendrix.

fender-kenny-wayne-strat-630-80
Fender Stratocaster

Today, Fullerton is home to the California State University at Fullerton and Fullerton College (1913), which is the oldest community college in California that still exists in its original location. The student population brings an eclectic energy and vibrant culture to this town of more than 138,000 residents.

Fullerton College

Downtown Fullerton is now a thriving entertainment area, after a civic renaissance that led to the restoration of over 70 buildings. Music is still a big part of the mix in Fullerton, as live acts perform nightly in the SOCO (South of Commonwealth) entertainment district.

Fullerton Nightlife

 

Fullerton is an old town that has found a way to retain its youth: a great place to grab a beer and listen to a band in one of Orange County’s last, true downtown districts.

A Musical Day Trip to the Fullerton Museum Center

Fullerton Museum CenterTake a Rock and Roll road trip to Fullerton and visit the Fender exhibit at the Fullerton Museum Center. Check out the museum’s The museum’s extensive collection of vintage Fender guitars on display, and listen to testimonials from the guitar legends that put Fender on the musical map. Afterwards, walk a few blocks to the Slidebar Rock n Roll Cafe; a great place to enjoy great bbq while surrounded by music memorabilia. Be sure to take a stroll down Harbor Boulevard and check out the funky record stores, guitar shops and vintage boutiques. You’ll see for yourself that Fullerton does indeed rock.

 

 

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